Granular, a new kind of farm management software and analytics platform, helps farmers improve efficiency, yield, and profit, by helping  farmers measure, analyze and improve their entire operation. Granular's software makes running a large farm easier and more efficient. 

Our team was brought on to incorporate and design a notification system  within their current software. 

WHAT IS GRANULAR?

Planning and designing a useful operation hub for farmers demanded a heavy dose of research and a stretch of the imagination. We were challenged to understand not only the complicated business of agriculture, but also the current state of Granular’s software, how it helps farmers manage their business, and Granular's vision for the future of their business.  

Neither of us had any understanding of the agriculture industry. Our only understanding of farming was our own backyard farming. We spent our first several days working our way through all the content that the Granular team had sent us, and also digging into a little research of our own to better understand the product needs and the problems they were looking to solve. We visualized the content and the data that was provided to us to better understand the industry. 

UNDERSTANDING THE FARMING INDUSTRY

(Research)

people and machinery. The one constant in this process is change. Farmers react to changes in the field and have to alter plans on the fly.

Within this complicated process, we identified some of the major challenges to running the daily operations.

What we learned during our research phase was that the agriculture industry is far more complicated than the farming most people are aware of. Production farmers are educated, tech-savvy people and have a complicated process for planning their operations. They make plans for the year, taking into account resources like land, 

We needed a deep understanding of Granular’s users in order to create a better experience for them. Our primary persona was the farm operations manager. 

MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL

Through our research, we identified three user journeys to guide our design:

  1. As an ops manager, I need to monitor the status of farm operations on a real-time basis.
  2. As an ops manager, I get notified when there is an item needing my attention and can easily reschedule any affected activities.
  3. As an ops manager, I can see what tasks are scheduled for the day on each of my fields, and quickly assign operators and machinery to tasks.

Based on our findings and research Ops Managers are in and out of the field and office all day. He’s overwhelmed with communication during the day, and needs a better way to quickly tell operators what to do when plans change.

“I get 400-500 calls a day, especially during training. I wish there was a better way to communicate with my team about what to do next.”

 

We mocked up potential states of the notification. This process generated feedback early and often which allowed us to improve the final design. 

TURNING OUR FINDINGS TO DESIGN

We created alerts notification, and activity feed. Alerts were located always at the top needing immediate attention and are denoted by Alerts triangle icon. 

The feed also allows Ops Managers to take action by using the @mention and tagging the operator. Once an Ops Manager tags an operator the operator gets notified on his/her smart phone. 

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

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